Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Book by Floating World





30 years after the spectacular collapse of Pearl Comics, a celebration of the cause of that collapse - Jeff Lint's ‘THE CATERER’.

Described by Alan Moore as "the holy barnacle of failure", The Caterer dragged Pearl into a legal hell when its hero spent the whole of Issue 9 on a killing spree in Disneyland. The smirking Jack Marsden became a cult figure and role model for enigmatic idiots in the mid-70s. His style and
catchphrases were such an insider code that hundreds of people got beaten up by baffled or enraged onlookers.

Floating World Comics has teamed with Lint biographer, Steve Aylett to present a reprint of Issue 3: this stand-out issue includes the beginning of Marsden's goat obsession, a fierce appearance by the ghostly Hoston Pete, a great example of the Marsden 'stillness' and no less than four classic Marsden hallucinations. The leaning Chief Bayard's preoccupation with our hero results in the violent deaths of six people, and Jack delivers his infamous 'lipstick for dogs' diatribe.

This collaboration was made possible by local publisher, Eraserhead Press. Eraserhead editor Rose O’Keefe put me in contact with Steve Aylett (featured in their Bizarro Starter Kit), arguably one of the forerunners of the Bizarro style of weird fiction. Eraserhead will be at the show with many of their best authors who will be reading from their novels.


WHO: Eraserhead Press – Mykle Hansen, Carlton Mellick III, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Daniel Scott Buck, and more. Also bizarre visual art by: Cody Brant, Nicole Linde, Claudia Drake and Ranger.

WHAT: Bizarro book reading and Caterer release party!

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 4th, 6-10PM

WHERE: Floating World Comics

20 NW 5th Ave #101

Portland, OR 97209


Show runs through Dec. 31st

Store hours: Everyday 11-7pm

Saturday, November 29, 2008

You can't tell me some things weren't better back then...

For more images from old Macy's Parades, go here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

three really great documentaries

So, I've been a bit crazy for the documentaries lately, three of them are particularly related to small publishing and independent books.

The first is Paperback Dreams, a movie about Cody's and Keppler's bookstores:

Then was this weird movie about the Gilman Street Project:

And lastly was McLibel, a movie about the lawsuit that put corporations on trial:

All of them basically make me feel like I need to a lot more work but also that there is hope.

Dan Clowes documentary

Okay, so I'm sure this is old but I'd never seen this Dan Clowes documentary done by some Dutch people. It is really good. Thanks to Jim for the link.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Comics Claptrip: The Sell-Out Episode

There is a brand new web-isode of Comics Claptrap up right now. This time the duo of our own modern day Lewis and Martin (Rina Ayuyang and Thien Pham) interview the ONE and ONLY JIM RUGG. I'm pretty excited and listening to it right now.
Lots of fun.

New Mats!? Print!!!

Check it out:
Cargo Cult Print

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Comic Book Day

I bought some comics today at Forbidden Planet (13th and Broadway, Manhattan). I also work there and all day, while working register, I kept hoping for someone to buy one of these (except jin and jam which i actually got at GRNY). It didnt happen. Wednesday at FP is mostly about ringing up justice league of america or what have you. Which...hey, I'm totally cool with. If there's one thing that mainstream comic fans have over art comics fans, it's dedication and excitement. All the Wolverine fans come out the day Wolvies book comes out. They love it! So, where where the king cat fans? Huh? Sittin at home. Waiting for the weekend. I'd like to see art comic fans come up to the register with the same total commitment to comics that your average teen titans "head" has.

King Cat #69
by John P

I really love the first story in this...about Misun checking out some "for rent" signs and John looking out the window. It reminds me of the story where John is in the car with Kera, and she goes out to get food. John is in the car with the cat. Kera comes back and gives John french fries. The panel goes something like "here, i bought you french fries." then there's a silent panel. Then another panel with the caption "she bought me french fries." That is one of my all time favorite King Cat stories.

I think about it all the time...a nice moment of John rendering someones kindness (at least that's what i always think of it in terms of). Anyway....this first story in king Cat #69 seems like it's got legs for my memory in the same way that story did.

Jin and jam #1 by hellen jo

WHOA. This comic is soooooo cool. I can't get over it. I remember reading some early Hellen Jo comics and thinking (hoping?) "if I ever meet this girl, she will try to beat me up." Of course when you meet Hellen, she is the nicest girl in the world, which makes her tougher than tough comics all the more amazing. The drawing in this is just so cool. I wish i could draw like looks like so much fun. If there is any justice in the world, this will be the most popular comic around, STAT.

The Lagoon by Lilli Carre

I've been waiting for this comic to come out for a while. The Thing about Madeline and Dorado Park are two of my favorite mini comic of the last....well, two of my favorite minis ever. Carre is, to me, an incredible writer. Madeline was like a perfect little short story where everything clicked and you were kinda bowled over by the economy and precision of the project. Lagoon is really different, and (as an artist) very inspiring. It's fascinating to see Carre's line loosen up. There are even some drawing in here that are rather crude (crude by Lilli Carre standards that is)---and I love those drawings. I don't know if it was a choice to have meticulous drawings next to looser ones...but it's really potent and good when you look at the book. It's one of those things where comics are "intimate" in the way everyone says they are but cant articulate why. You can see the human hand in how this was built and the skill all at once.

What is most interesting to me, after reading it once, is how different the book feels from page to page (or within the same page sometimes). Madeline and Dorado had one dominant emotion throughout. Lagoon is almost light at times...and then, within the same page you'll feel totally different emotional pulls. But like Madeline and Dorado its got this total sense of authority to it. I trust this book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Independent Online Booksales

I know that most indy booksellers online are still probably buying their stock from distros and not directly but I'm really interested in finding ones to work with and shop at.
Two that I found last month that really interest me are:
Brookline Booksmith
Haymarket Books
I'm making a point of avoiding Amazon or trying to work with individual sellers on there. Of course the Microcosm store is amazing too:
I think the big problem is that by its very nature Amazon meets the needs of most of us at a cheaper cost. But the damage it does is at least comparable to that of Border's and Barnes and Noble in the early 90s. And so, I think going with smaller specialty sellers is the road of the future for Sparkplug.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Know Comics at Top Drawer

Luke P. has started a great new blog with interviews with Scott Teplin and John Hankiewicz so far. A good solid format of asking a standard set of questions. It is surprising how this format leads to such good results:

The values of art.

I've been slack in posting with too many shows in the past couple months but I'm gonna be boring the shit out of you all really soon. In the meantime, here is an amazing article on the value of ideas, creativity and the art object.
Damien Jay sent me the link and introduced me to Lewis Hyde, two of the best parts from the article are:

"Gift economies, as Mauss defines them, are marked by circulation and connectivity: goods have value only insofar as they are treated as gifts, and gifts can remain gifts only if they are continually given away. This results in a kind of engine of community cohesion, in which objects create social, psychological, emotional and spiritual bonds as they pass from hand
to hand


"Unlike a commodity, whose value begins to decline the moment it changes hands, an artwork gains in value from the act of being circulated-published, shown, written about, passed from generation to generation - from being, at its core, an offering."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A.P.E. 2008 movie

i made a video at A.P.E. this weekend.

i miss all of you already.